Hip dysplasia is the most commonly inherited orthopaedic disease in dogs. It causes pain and stiffness, and affects your dog’s quality of life. Dogs with a loose hip joint (hip laxity) are at higher risk of developing hip dysplasia. PennHIP is a technique of measuring hip laxity and can identify dogs that are susceptible to developing hip dysplasia.
The PennHIP technique was established at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1993, with the main objective of reducing the prevalence of hip dysplasia in dogs. It replaces traditional hip testing methods where the positioning required for the x-rays artificially tightens the hip joint; traditional hip testing methods had made little progress in reducing hip dysplasia so an alternative was developed.
PennHIP is the most accurate hip screening method and can be performed on pups as young as 16 weeks of age. Assessment of your dog’s hip health is important for breeders to help select breeding stock with tight hips, and reduce incidence of hip dysplasia in future generations. It is also important for pet dogs, as early intervention can help delay signs of hip dysplasia.
PennHIP consists of a series of three x-rays taken under sedation. It includes traditional hip assessment x-rays as well as a ‘distracted view’, which simulates the forces on the hips when the pet is standing. The x-rays are sent off for assessment, and a report received giving your pet a hip score, as well as the breed average, and the risk of developing osteoarthritis (hip dysplasia).
If you have any questions regarding hip dysplasia in your dog, treatment options or PennHIP testing, please contact Levin and Horowhenua Veterinary Centre. We have a veterinarian certified in the PennHIP technique that can help you and your dog.